As expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs went silent on trade deadline day.
There was some talk that the Leafs would try to move Dave Bolland, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at the season’s end, but his uncertain health status probably turned many would-be suitors away.
This isn’t exactly a bad situation for Toronto, assuming Bolland can return to the lineup and prove effective before the playoffs hit. If this happens, it would be like the Leafs added him at the trade deadline anyway. It’s always best when one of your own assets returns since the cost is minimal beyond what you initially paid for the player.
There was also some talk that the Leafs would trade James Reimer and Nikolai Kulemin – another pair of pending free agents – but nothing came to fruition on this front either. Toronto is a better team with these two players in the lineup so the right decision was made to keep them.
As well, there’s been idle speculation all season (and even before it began) that the Leafs are inclined to trade Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner for the right price. However, this doesn’t really made sense considering the tremendous talent and upside of these two young players, and that’s the surest reason for why both remain Leafs today. They’re part of the team’s future and no short-term, trade deadline day acquisition can change this simple fact.
What does all this mean? Absolutely nothing.
The Leafs have been building a contender over the past few seasons and they’re content with the team’s current progress. This is a good thing and it means we shouldn’t expect the team to make any rash or shortsighted decisions.
If the Leafs do make any bold moves, they’ll likely occur during the off-season, which is where Toronto has done its heavy lifting over the past few seasons: Bolland, Jonathan Bernier, David Clarkson, Tim Connolly.
Of course, they cannot all be winners, but many of these early summer additions have helped to turn the Leafs into winners. That’s good enough for me!
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